|Author||George Clinton and Rickey Vincent|
|File size||3 Mb|
While it's usually easy to distinguish music that is funky from music that is not, it's much more difficult to say what funk actually is. In this book, Vincent, who has an all-funk show on KALX in California, attempts to arrive at such a definition and to provide a historical overview of "The Funk" (as he calls it) from its emergence as a recognizable element of black music in the 1960s to its varied manifestations in today's popular culture. He does a good job of demonstrating how funkiness celebrates various aspects of African American culture, many of which have historically not been valued by white society, and makes clear the broad impact of various funk styles on American music. Unfortunately, Vincent's encyclopedic knowledge of funk is not matched by a broad understanding of the larger musical context in which he wishes to place it; his stabs at music theory are weak and ill informed, and by the time he refers to the Rolling Stones as James Brown imitators and to Ronald Shannon Jackson as a guitarist, the reader has come to the uncomfortable conclusion that the author has bitten off far more than he can chew. Worst of all, Vincent's writing style borders on unreadable: the sentence "It would be a measure of any hip black act in the seventies to come with a funk bomb to get respect" is, unfortunately, typical. The book ends with a fine annotated discography, but it's not enough to justify purchase. Not recommended.?Rick Anderson, Contoocook, N.H.